A fusion of radio documentary and experimental music theater, A Mess of Things is an award winning hour-long solo performance by Adam Tinkle. It blends audio interviews the composer made with his grandfather together with text, songs, videos and live music into a dense exploration of memory, hoarding and the difficulties of divesting. Rich with sonic detail, A Mess of Things layers voices and images, and moves fluidly between intimate storytelling (think This American Life) and chaotic sonic texture (think Negativland).  A must-see for fans of the Books, Laurie Anderson and Robert Ashley, A Mess of Things has been performed at museums, concert halls, and theatre festivals on both coasts.

Here’s what the critics are saying about A Mess of Things:

“Tinkle is a stoic yet passionate performer,  and his lovely performance is a kind of evocation to the essences of history on the verge of extinction.”
Stage Raw/LA Weekly “GO!”

“Intricate and in a class of its own”
Tracey Paleo (LA Theatre Review)

“Sound artist Tinkle’s poetic creations (along with an occasional wry comment) are effectively sparse…the gentle simplicity of what he calls a “videographically illuminated radio opera” … sheds a cathartic light on a complex issue.” – Tony Frankel (Stage & Cinema)

“Among the show’s many virtues was that rarest of qualities we seek, in the theater and in life — authenticity. A man in an undecorated room, telling his truth without fakery or deceit. How often do you find that?”
-Steven Leigh Morris (LA Weekly feature review)

Performance History:

Ladd Hall, Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, 9/25/14

San Diego Fringe Festival, 7/5-7/2013, awarded “Fringe of the Fringe”

Nospace, Philadelphia, 12/16/2011

Maine Jewish Museum, Portland, 12/11/2011

“&Now Festival of New Writing,” San Diego, 10/15/2011

Hollywood Fringe Festival (June 9,18, 23, 24, 2011), awarded “Best of Fringe”

Conrad Prebys Music Center, UC San Diego, 4/1/11

The entire performance at Skidmore live-streamed, and was then archived:


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